Rhinoplasty and Nostril Reduction Surgery (Weir Excision)

Patients who come to Utah Facial Plastics surgeons know they can expect phenomenal and natural looking results. With rhinoplasty being one of our most common procedures performed, nostril reduction is becoming more popular in combination or done alone.  Nostril reduction surgery, also know as a weir excision, is a minimally invasive surgery that subtly reduces or changes the shape of the nostrils.

This surgery is ideal for those who are happy with the overall shape of their nose but want to reduce the look of prominent nasal flaring. We will be discussing everything you need to know about a weir excision from an appropriate candidate for this surgery, and what can be expected during and after surgery.

What is a Weir Excision?

Dr Henstrom Nostril Reduction Surgery

A weir excision is a minimally invasive surgical procedure, in which a small amount of skin is removed from below the base of the nose (where the nose meets the cheek) to narrow the appearance of the nostrils. There are a couple different techniques when performing an alar base reduction, your surgeon will go over the amount of skin removed and the incisions that they think will give you the best, most natural results.

Who’s a Candidate for a Weir Excision?

A weir excision is considered a type of rhinoplasty, however it is much less invasive when done alone, but can be done alongside a rhinoplasty surgery if needed. Most individuals who are interested in a weir excision typically feel like their nostrils constantly look like they are flared, open, and prominent.

Candidates for nostril reduction surgery are healthy individuals who are satisfied with the overall shape of their nose but want to subtly change their prominent nostrils. It is important for individuals to keep in mind that a weir excision is not going to drastically change the shape of their nose like a traditional rhinoplasty would.

What is the Weir Excision Procedure Like?

When a weir excision is being performed on its own, it can generally be done under a local anesthetic, meaning the individual is awake but completely numbed during the entire procedure.

Next, the appropriate amount of tissue is carefully removed, which will change how broad the nose looks. After the tissue is removed, the incisions are closed and reinforced using sutures.

Lastly, the wound is cleaned and gently dressed with a bandage. After care instruction will be given to the individual to ensure aftercare is done properly to prevent infection. A bandage will need to be worn over the next several days following the procedure. A post-op appointment will be made for a few days later where the sutures will be gently removed.

What is Recovery like after Nostril Reduction Surgery?

Recovery time following a weir excision is pretty quick in comparison to other facial procedures. Immediately after surgery it is completely normal for the nose to be red, swollen and tender, however this resolves on its own within one to two weeks. Full recovery can be expected anywhere between 1-3 months following surgery, meaning the incision will be red and raised until it flattens out and color improves. It can be concealed with tinted SPF and coverage as needed.

Just like any surgery, there is risk of complications that can occur with a weir excision. Possible complications are undesirable scarring and infection. As mentioned above, following aftercare protocol is crucial following surgery to avoid the risk of infection. Going to a facial plastic surgeon who is extremely experienced and knowledgeable will also significantly reduce these risks.

What Fees are Involved with Nostril Reduction Surgery?

Like most cosmetic surgeries, weir excisions are not typically covered by insurance. The cost of a Weir excision ranges from state to state and depends on what the entire surgical procedure is going to entail.  Currently at Utah Facial Plastics, a weir excision under local anesthesia cost around $3700 in 2022. Facility and anesthesia type are additional fees that are added into physician fees. Nostril Reduction Surgery is significantly less comprehensive and less expensive than a traditional rhinoplasty.

Further Reading on Rhinoplasty


Utah Facial Plastic’s leading experts in rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty surgery are specialized in procedures of the face and neck.

To learn more about nostril reduction surgery or rhinoplasty surgery, please contact Utah Facial Plastics for a rhinoplasty consultation or call us at our Draper or Layton, Utah offices at (801)776-2220.

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